I was given a small piece of thirty year old African Pear Wood. That was the start of my problems.
I glued it to a sacrificial piece of scrap wood and started to turn. I stopped the lathe and sharpened the chisels. this stuff is hard as hell. A Sorby parting tool blunted in 4 minutes. Sharpened again and kept going. The eventual result is the incense burner shown. It was sanded to 80 grit and wiped with liquid paraffin. It is a bitch to turn, the first time and the last.